Saturday, 6 April 2013

Spring pictures from our new home away from home.

We finally managed another trip to the offspring in Metro Vancouver. In normal times we go a few times a year, but last year was not normal. 
For a change we took the Greyhound from Revelstoke, 100 Km North of here, with a ferry across Upper Arrow Lake halfway. We had left with an hour to spare in case we got unlucky at the ferry, so we had time for a stroll along the river. 
The bus took nine hours, but at least it was one of the comfortable new ones. I quite enjoyed not having to worry about arriving before dark and/or driving in traffic.

We needed a new place to stay. Vancouver area apartments are tiny. The time when the grandson could be asked to relinquish his room to Opa and Oma is long past. For some years we enjoyed the guest suite in an apartment building around the corner from daughter's place, but alas, it is no longer in use.

No worries, daughter found a hotel that is not only affordable, but a total pleasure and only 20 minutes by foot and sky train from her place. 
There is no green space separating Vancouver city from the many adjoining municipalities that make up the Metro Vancouver area. We used to think of  adjoining towns merely as 'almost-but-not-quite-Vancouver'. Now that we know the place better we appreciate spacious Burnaby, with its mountain and nature parks, on its own merits. This visit we got to know historic New Westminster, the oldest city in Western Canada.
This picture of our hotel is borrowed from the municipal website.
This is the view that greeted us on our arrival, late at night on Thursday evening. Rather, this is what happened when I tried take a picture of the Fraser River by moonlight. It needed the skills of Piper's Pal Terrence to do it justice. My efforts to use the night setting just resulted in streaks.
The Met Hotel is right on New Westminster's main drag, which itself runs parallel to the river. It is an old brick building with high ceilings, beautiful windows, the friendliest staff and affordable to boot.  People, I am in love and already planning the next trip. We lucked out with blue skies and spring blossoms all around. 
Here are some tourist pictures.
 Above: playing with the fish eye lens, the inviting patio in front of Starbucks on Columbia Street, with lots of pansies. Below: the British cafe. 
We were only a only a few blocks from the entrance to the New Westminster Quay, a beautiful waterfront park. 
The patio of the Riverside market center. What's not to like about  hanging out in the sunshine and watching people while eating superb Italian ice cream? 
Below the view East, towards the Patullo bridge, from the same place.

Too bad the river boat cruises won't start till May.
Above: the section closest to the Patullo bridge, still facing East, and below the bridge with sky train.
Sky train is wonderful! You never have to run for a train, because another one will be along in minutes.
Below, still close to the Patullo, but now facing West.
The city even provides recliners.
We had thought the walk stretched from just below the Patullo bridge to the Riverside Market, but on the next  visit we noticed a whole stretch to the West. We had a date to go for Dim Sum and ran out of time to walk the whole thing, next time. 
Some more flowers.

This stretch of the river walk is bordered by pleasant looking housing.
New West is becoming popular with hip urbanites who are being priced out of Vancouver.
I could almost imagine being content in the one with the rooftop patio. I'd have to be rich to afford it, so I'll stay right here.
Let's not forget this is still a working river. Cranes, log booms and tugboats remind us that a city cannot exist by sushi alone.


  1. So that's where spring has been hiding! It sounds like you had a lovely relaxing time. Good for you! :)

  2. Spring has come and gone. We are back to cooler and grey, but I sure enjoyed the brief immersion in blue.


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